Idea: A series of collage classes, which will encourage black and brown people to mobilize, collaborate, rejuvenate and create
Primary artistic medium: multidisciplinary
Doriana Diaz is a storyteller, shapeshifter, and sensitive spirit rooted in Philadelphia’s soulful rhythms. She is the founder and curator of The Diaz Collections (@thediazcollections); an archival vessel channeling ancestral exploration of Black artistic wellness. She believes art has DNA. Those who breathe the bloodline into narrative/story/creativity will one day move beyond this dimension but their artistry remains a loud whisper from within the caverns of their wounds/glory/power/presence. She believes our art is our inheritance. It is a form of one’s souls’ communication; a remembering, a delicate pouring of transcendent libations that shall move beyond time. Her artistry focuses on the exploration of cultural agency, archival documentation, and rhythms of resistance and expansion.My work is an exploration of radical Black re-imagination, a curation of our own home sequence as a community. I hope to harness and uplift not only our glory, but our alchemy, our celebration of community, and our limitless and boundless channels of light. My dear friend Shefon Taylor, a fellow collage artist, whose work I admire greatly, explained it so beautifully in a conversation we shared. She said, “I will always reference this practice as a process that has been such an entryway to myself. The overwhelming clarity that I have when I sit down with that blade is remarkable.”
I propose a project series of collage classes, which will encourage black and brown people to mobilize, collaborate, rejuvenate and create alongside one another through the medium of visual arts. Each class will be 1 hour in length. I propose that attendees pay what they wish or allow admission based on sliding scale rates. I want people specifically from low-income class brackets to be able to easily access these classes for 2 reasons. First, low-income people rarely get to embrace or participate in the arts, whether that be in schools or in their own neighborhoods. Second, low-income identifying people, are generally black and brown folks who will not have to worry about the stress of paying a regular general admission fee. Thus, they will be able to access the opportunity to create their own art at a very low price. Through these classes, I hope to be able to teach people to create collages, so they can take that skill, pass it along, or continue exploring with the medium on their own. The money provided from this grant will help me to rent out the spaces necessary, hire co-hosts, or other like-minded artists to come and share their own artwork, provide students with the proper materials (magazines, frames, scissors, paper, glue), promote the classes, and sponsor or provide other artists who are doing similar work with this outlet and allow a community to express their truest selves within. I also plan to organize an exhibition in an art gallery at the end of the series to celebrate and showcase the works created by the participants of this collage class series.
I would also include/like to have co-facilitators as well. Both Kimberley Ashby and Yannick and fellow Philadelphian collagists and I think they would be great assets to these classes.
The structure of the classes will be as follows:
Class 1: Collecting Your Pieces (Students will page through all provided magazines, books, poems, even the internet, in order to find their desired collection of pieces for their entire collage, we will address themes, color palettes, tone, embodiment, etc…In this class we will also be accounting for measurements, so when we frame at the end of the series student works it will be the appropriate sizing.)
Class 2: Laying a Foundation (This class will address the steps needed to be taken in order to create a foundation for the student’s collage pieces. This will set the tone for the remainder of the series)
Class 3: Cutting and Pasting (This class will emphasize the crucial aspect of pasting. We will begin to take all the collected pieces and paste them on top of the foundation of our collages to begin to create the final presentation)
Class 4: Showcase Final Pieces (In this class, each student will be provided with a frame for their works, and students will be able to showcase their work to the class)